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Sun dried Tomatoes

Tomato Passata sauce, part 1

Tomato Passata sauce, part 2

A special day shared

Spaghetti alle vongole

Spaghetti alle vongole

Yesterday morning I was woken up very early with a cup of fantastic dark coffee and  a wonderful gift  next to my pillow .There were two reasons for this, first it was very early because I had a  busy and exciting day ahead of me and the second reason IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY.  So here I am, a year older and I hope wiser, I definitely have a few more wrinkles but I also do have the good fortune to have a great husband, good health and am able to do a job that I love.

The feel good feeling was further boosted when I received  an email from my friend Lorna , saying that there appears to be a lot of interest and enthusiasm for the Italian cooking workshop I am presenting in London in two weeks time ,and bookings are going very well. What can I say ? the day could not have started  better

So to continue, I just had to prepare a couple of things in my kitchen to take to my morning class of 20 American students from the Kansas school which is based in Orvieto, who all wanted to take part in a gastronomic Italian experience. After meeting my trusted assistant Caterina we headed up the mountain to the Orvieto market place to meet the students and present each one of them with a shopping list I had written——— in Italian !!!!!!!!!  I thought they looked very courageous as they set off frowning and staring down at their bits of paper .

When this was completed we walked thru the old narrow  streets of this beautiful, unbelievable  medieval town to reach the Etruscan Cellars ,the location for our cooking lesson.


Caterina and myself

The theme of this lesson was to be Umbrian products protected and recognized by the Slow Food Association , and how to cook one of the most historical ingredients such as Spelt, first used  by the Etruscans and later on in  Roman times .


There certainly followed plenty of activity  in this ancient site ,from energetic chopping, careful cooking  to endless tastings .



The morning class flew by and was such a lot of fun. After the lesson the students were able to enjoy the results of their labor and also sample some of the local wines.  Graziella , as an  expert Sommelier  taught them the basic techniques for  wine tasting .  At the end of the day both Graziella and I both enjoyed a great feedback with the American teachers very enthusiastic about all the food and wine experience.

For making all this possible I must thank the Cooperative ITINERA for asking for my culinary collaboration for these amazing events over the last few years. It has been both an honour and a pleasure to be involved. Grazie.

But now back to the birthday girl , to finish off the day I changed from my work outfit to a nice ( and sexy) evening dress , a pair of high heel shoes  and a little makeup, Nick wore his best shirt and his favorite jeans and we were ready to party ! We lit a couple of candles , the fireplace in the kitchen  was crackling and some gentle background music played.

Crispy fried fish as a aperitif  served with cold and extra dry Prosecco  and Spaghetti with clams (check for recipe and pics) followed as a main dish . A tasty and simple romantic dinner for two

I MUST SAY..Life is not too bad when you turn 42 !!!!!






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